First Impressions on using IRC…

What is an IRC ?

IRC or Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text. The chat process works on a client/server networking model. IRC clients are computer programs that a user can install on their system. These clients communicate with chat servers to transfer messages to other clients. IRC is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-on-one communication via private messages, besides chat and file transfer.

Role of IRC in open source development…

IRC is where People Talk about Open Source Projects. You’ve probably heard how paramount role IRC plays for the success of any open source development project. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is one of the main communication channels for open source projects. You can freely join a channel that suits your interests if you are looking for help or interested in contributing.

Networks and Clients

There are thousands of running IRC networks in the world. IRC reached 6 million simultaneous users in 2001 and 10 million users in 2003.

As of March 2015,  the largest IRC networks were: freenode , IRCNet , QuakeNet , EFnet , Undernet, and Rizon.

To use IRC its preferred to use an IRC client as it can save your messages and has plenty of other nifty shortcuts as well. There are many IRC Clients like Hexchat, XChat, Konversation.The one I am using for my review today is Hexchat.

Using an IRC Client

The first thing one must do after installing an IRC client is to register with the network, like freenode in my case, using a nickname.Here I have signed in to freenode using my nick, Agent_90.

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Now you can join any channels about people or topics that interest you.Now the fun begins. As soon as you join a channel, you can read messages about the topic from people all over the world, besides sharing ideas yourself. You may also ask questions and if anyone knows the answer they will help you out. Here I have joined 2 channels #fedora and #fossasia.

Hexchat

One of the many benefits of IRC is that people can calmly discuss problems and come up with innovative solutions easily. Thus it increases productivity. Partners on a project can discuss their progress. Discussing topics on IRC also prevents duplication of work.

A common thing to do on IRC is “idling”, being in a channel without talking. I am in about 5 channels right now, none of which draw my attention with notifications, so this gives it an edge over other platforms like WhatsApp, Google groups or Stack Overflow. Thus IRC is real time, open to anyone to join, low intrusion and has a terminal client.

Now what are you waiting for? Join an IRC network of your choice and see the power for yourself.   Have any questions? Just post in the comments section below and I will be happy to help.  Thanks for reading so far. If you liked the article don’t forget to like, comment and share the post, and do subscribe to my channel.

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